Manila barangay ex-Chairman convicted of graft
13 March 2018
The Office of the Ombudsman secured the conviction of Bonuso Libay, former Punong Barangay of Brgy. 772, Zone 84, District V, Manila for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act No. 3019).
In a Decision rendered by Judge Rosalyn Mislos-Loja of Branch 41 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila, Libay was sentenced to eight years of imprisonment for each charge and was perpetually disqualified from holding public office.
Private complainant Franco Espiritu of F.R.C.G.E Trading, a supplier, testified that on 20 January 2012, Libay demanded and received P10,000.00 in exchange for the approval and signing of the disbursement voucher representing the payment of rice, paint and brushes which Espiritu delivered to the barangay. As evidence, Espiritu presented an Acknowledgement Receipt signed by Libay himself.
In his defense, the accused denied the charges and maintained that the signature in the Acknowledgement Receipt was forged. The RTC rejected the defense of forgery since an examination by the National Bureau of Investigation concluded that “the questioned document [referring to the Acknowledgement Receipt dated 20 January 2012] and the standard sample signatures [of] Libay were written by one and the same person.”
The RTC Decision explained that “[t]he accused exhibited evident bad faith when he requested or demanded and received the sum of P10,000.00 as his share or commission in a government contract of which he, in his official capacity, had the right to intervene.”
Under Section 3(b) of R.A. No. 3019, public officials are prohibited from directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the government and any other party, wherein the public officer in an official capacity has to intervene under the law. On the other hand, Section 3(e) prohibits public officers from causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference in the discharge of official function through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. ###